Year Completed: 1969 Material: Serpentine Owner: Missouri Botanical Garden
About the artist:
Bernard Matemera is best known for his work as part of the African “Shona sculpture” movement, which creates modern interpretations of the ancient stone sculpture tradition for which Zimbabwe is well-known. Matemera’s pieces are constructed primarily in grey or black serpentine, with a uniform polished surface. His subjects typically include animals, people, or spirit creatures depicted with heavily exaggerated angles and features. He spent his entire professional career at the Tengenenge Sculpture Community in the Guruve District of Zimbabwe. In the 1960s, many of Matemera’s pieces were shown in the Rhodes National Gallery, whose founding director Frank McEwen was instrumental in bringing them to the attention of the international art community. He continued to gain recognition throughout the 1970s and 80s, and exhibited works in the US, UK, Germany, and the Netherlands.